Pioneers of the indie/electronic/chip tune/rock scene, Anamanaguchi are four NYU students and a Nintendo Entertainment System powered by sass and asskickery (or "sasskickery", if you will).
From the band's MySpace page:
- Peter Berkman - Guitar/Programming
- Ary Warnaar - Guitar
- James DeVito - Bass
- Luke Silas - Drums
- A Nintendo - Everything else
With notable performances at The Knitting Factory and Blip Festival, Anamanaguchi exemplifies the bitpop genre; their songs are crashing soundscapes of 8-bit chip tunes accompanied by screaming guitar riffs and classic rock drum & bass foundations. This band takes the humble NES and creates layered, complex anthems that vibrate with energy and controlled chaos.
Anamanaguchi's entire first album is available for free download from 8bitpeople. You can also listen to some tracks that don't appear on their album on their MySpace page. Sometimes the 8bitpeople site goes down for maintenance, so if there aren't any download links, just check back later--it's worth the wait.
Below are my two favorite songs by Anamanaguchi. Ever since I first heard Helix Nebula, I was completely hooked; I'm consistently surprised by how much their songs inspire me and get me moving. This band's music hauls ass, and just radiates power and movement. I urge everyone to check out these two songs, which are always stream-able from their MySpace page. If you aren't moved by Helix Nebula or Power Supply, you might be a robot.
This is the money shot of their debut album Power Supply. Helix Nebula is the heart-pounding final boss fight and climactic FMV of every video game you've ever played. When Anamanaguchi played Helix Nebula at the Knitting Factory, they had to ask the audience to calm down because the awesomeness inspired widespread moshing and general disorder. Helix Nebula is Anamanaguchi's sound; melodic, crashing but never cacophonic, wild but never out of control.
An eponymous track from their debut album. Power Supply starts off with some serious movement, and a general rhythm that distinguishes itself from most "video game music" with its subtle refrains and repetitions. It doesn't really matter what the first three quarters of this song sounds like, though, because the crescendo is what it's all about. At about 2:07 into the song, Anamanaguchi's NES starts shredding out one of the most powerful, energetic, upbeat riffs you'll ever hear. If Helix Nebula is the boss fight, Power Supply is the triumphant victory theme, where your characters rejoice in two-frame revelry.
For a while, the Anamanaguchi track Blackout City played on the MySpace page of Maurice Moss, Richard Ayoade's character in the British sitcom The IT Crowd.